How popular is the baby name Charles in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Charles and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Charles.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Charles

Number of Babies Named Charles

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Charles

2 Semi-Mysterious Baby Names: Karil & Caril

I’ve been trying to piece together the stories behind the baby names Karil and Caril lately. Both of them saw increased usage in 1958:

Year Usage of Karil Usage of Caril
1960 8 baby girls .
1959 15 baby girls 7 baby girls
1958 19 baby girls [debut] 10 baby girls
1957 . .
1956 . .

The similar names Carol and Karen were popular in the late ’50s, but I think something more specific would have caused both Karil and Caril to pop up all of a sudden like that.

Right now I have two working theories, and both involve murders (how uplifting!).

The first theory is Caril Ann Fugate, the 14-year-old from Nebraska who went on a killing spree with her boyfriend, 19-year-old Charles Starkweather, in January of 1958. The story stayed in the news for months: Starkweather was sentenced to death in May, Fugate received a life sentence in November, and Starkweather’s execution took place in mid-1959.

The second theory is Karil Graham, a Los Angeles woman who was murdered in ’55 and whose story was recounted (with a lot of embellishment) in the 1958 nonfiction book The Badge by Jack Webb, the creator of Dragnet. In late 1958, many newspapers ran Jim Bishop’s positive review of the book, which included the following excerpt highlighting Karil:

The way it is with so many women who live alone, life had held back on Karil Graham. She was likable and attractive, still a year on the sunny side of 40, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, trim-figured. But there was no husband — a marriage hadn’t worked out — no children, no other man in her lonely life.

Karil hid the hurt and filled the emptiness as best she could. Every day she went to work, on time, to her job as receptionist at a downtown Los Angeles art school. Nights, in her quiet apartment, she listened to music and dabbled in painting. She was just a dilettante, she know resignedly, but records and easel were gracious cover-ups for emptiness.

Do either of these theories seem like the primary answer to you? Do you think the answer could be a bit of both? Or something else entirely…?

Sources:


Names in the News: Eclipse, Searyl, Luuuke

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Apollo: A baby boy born in the Canadian town of Kelowna at the start of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, was named Niall Apollo — Apollo after the Greek god of the sun. (Castanet)

Charles: A baby boy born in Missouri in October of 2016 with the help of St. Charles County ambulance district paramedics was named Charles. (Fox 2)

Chepkura: A baby girl born in Kenya on August 8, 2017, while her mother was at a polling station waiting in line to vote, named Chepkura. In Swahili, kura means “ballot” or “vote.” (BBC)

Eclipse: A baby girl born in South Carolina on the day of the solar eclipse was named Eclipse Alizabeth. (The State)

Garavi, Sanchi, and Taravi: Triplet baby girls born in Gujarat in September of 2017 were named Garavi, Sanchi, and Taravi after India’s Good and Services Tax (GST), introduced by PM Narendra Modi on July 1. (India Times)

GST: A baby born in Rajasthan in the wee hours of July 1, 2017, was named GST. (Indian Express)

Harvey: A baby boy born in Texas in August of 2017 amid the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey was named Harvey. (Washington Post)

Kessel: A baby boy born in Pittsburgh in May of 2017 was named Kessel after Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel. (NHL)

Jetson: A baby boy born on June 18, 2017, aboard a Jet Airways flight from Dammam to Kochi was named Jetson after the Indian airline. (The Asian Age)

Justin-Trudeau: A baby boy born in Calgary on May 4, 2017, to a Syrian refugee family was named Justin-Trudeau in honor of Canada’s prime minister. (CTV News)

Luuuke: A baby boy born in North Carolina in July of 2017 was named Cameron Luuuke after Carolina Panthers players Cameron Newton and Luke Kuechly. “[W]hen Kuechly is performing well on the field, the crowd screams “Luuuuuuuuke,” which is why the family has spelled their son’s middle name using three u’s.” (Fox 46)

Lyric: A baby girl born on March 19, 2017, to A. J. McLean of the vocal group the Backstreet Boys was named Lyric. (People)

Mangala: A baby girl born in India in January of 2017 aboard a Mangala Express train en route from Mangalore to Jhansi was named Mangala. (Indian Express)

Nicole: A baby girl born in late 2015 at just 27 weeks in an emergency C-section was named Hadley Nicole – Nicole after delivery nurse Nicole Kenney. (WIVB Buffalo)

Noah Harvey: A baby boy born on August 29, 2017, “while Tropical Storm Harvey was raging across his hometown of Beaumont, Texas” was named Noah Harvey. (Deseret News)

Pajero Sport: A baby boy born in Indonesia in April of 2017 was named Pajero Sport after the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV because “we just happen to be fans,” said the father. (Coconuts Jakarta)

Pasley: A baby girl born in Minnesota in June of 2017 was named Shirah Pasley Yang — middle name in honor of Jane Pasley, the organ donor whose kidney was received by Kari Yang, Shirah’s mother. (Pioneer Press)

Searyl Atli: A baby born in Canada in November of 2016 “could be the first in the world to not have a gender designation.” The baby’s gender-neutral first and middle names are Searyl and Atli. (BBC)

Starla: A baby girl born in Colorado on August 2, 2017, in a car on the way to the hospital was “named Starla because of her dramatic entrance.” (Denver7)

Storm: A baby girl born in Miami in September of 2017, as Hurricane Irma approached the region, was named Nayiri Storm. (Weather Channel)

Syria: A baby girl born in Moscow in November of 2015 was named Syria “after her father’s military assignment destination.” (Moscow Times)

Lalage: Chatterbox Baby Name?

lalage, baby name, greek

Lalage’s quirky definition is what first caught my eye.

Horace, the Roman poet, created the name Lalage over two thousand years ago from the ancient Greek word lalagein, meaning “to chatter,” “to prattle,” “to babble,” or (in the case of a bird) “to chirp.” He invented it as a fitting alias for the “sweetly laughing, sweetly talking” woman described in Ode 1.22:

dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo,
dulce loquentem.

The name Lalage has since appeared in other literary works, including the play Politian (1835) by Edgar Allan Poe, the poem “Rimini” (1906) by Rudyard Kipling, and the novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) by John Fowles.

In The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the mother of the child named Lalage “pronounced it as a dactyl, the g hard.” So: LAL-a-ghee. But I checked other sources (such as this one) and found a variety of pronunciation suggestions.

There are two distinct camps regarding the G, for instance — the hard-G camp (lal-a-ghee) and the soft-G camp (lal-a-dgee). I think the soft-G makes the most sense for English-speakers, as the English forms of other Greek-origin names (like George and Eugene) also tend to have soft G’s, but that’s just personal opinion.

Lalage has since become the name of an asteroid (822 Lalage) and a genus of birds (the trillers), but my favorite association so far is the mid-20th-century circus performer.

Lalage — whose real name was Hedwig Roth — was an aerialist with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. According to one circus program, she was a “dusty blonde of French-Swiss origin” and she pronounced her name lä-lä-gay, but she had “given up trying to sell people that idea” because most people assumed it was lä-LÄZH. (See what I mean about the various pronunciations?)

Here’s the first stanza of the poem “Lalage!” (1946) by American poet Charles Olson:

The legs of Lalage toss, and toss, and toss
(l’esprit de femme)
against the canvas of the circus sky

What do you think of the name Lalage? Would it be a good alternative to popular girl names like Lillian or Lily?

Sources:

Most Popular 1-Syllable Baby Names of 2016

top one syllable baby names, girl names, boy namesWhich one-syllable names are the more popular right now?

The last time we looked at single-syllable names was in 2013. Let’s see what’s changed since then.

(Like before, names that straddle the one/two syllable line — names like Liam, Wyatt, Ryan, Ian, and Miles — were omitted.)

Top 1-Syllable Girl Names
1. Grace
2. Claire
3. Quinn
4. Faith
5. Jade
6. Paige
7. Rose
8. Brooke
9. Reese
10. Kate

Top 1-Syllable Boy Names
1. James
2. John
3. Luke
4. Jack
5. Charles
6. Jace
7. Chase
8. Cole
9. Max
10. Juan

Rose, Cole and Max are new to the top 10 lists since 2013. They replace Brynn, Blake and Jase.

Ariosa – Possible Baby Name?

arbuckles coffee, ariosa, advertisement,

I came across the name-like word Ariosa while doing research for the Isla Tudor post. What did Ariosa refer to? A coffee blend sold during the late 1800s and early 1900s by Arbuckle Bros., which was a well-known East Coast coffee company at that time.

The Arbuckle brothers, John and Charles, started selling coffee that was pre-roasted and packed in convenient one-pound bags in the 1860s. (Up to that point, coffee was typically sold green and in big sacks or barrels). They also extended the shelf-life of their roasted beans by glazing them with an egg-sugar mix. Perhaps most importantly, they marketed their coffee products aggressively (and rather cleverly).

Ariosa, a blend that was introduced in 1873, ended up becoming the first coffee brand to attain national renown in the United States. Arbuckles’ Ariosa was particularly popular among Westerners, including cowboys and ranchers. It was often referred to as “the coffee that won the west,” in fact. Ariosa dominated the Western coffee market for many decades, and was available for purchase until the 1940s.

The word Ariosa caught my eye because of its resemblance to the trendy baby name Aria (now ranked 29th). It also reminded me of Liliosa, which could be considered a fanciful form of Lily (ranked 25th) or Lillian (ranked 26th).

How did the Arbuckles come up with the word “Ariosa”? No one knows for sure, but the two most popular theories suggest it’s an acronym:

  • Arbuckle + Rio + South America
  • Arbuckle + Rio + Santos (another Brazilian coffee port)

The word Ariosa is also similar to the Italian musical term arioso, which is basically operatic singing that is not quite as formal as an aria.

So has Ariosa ever been used as a baby name before? Yes, but infrequently. It has never appeared in the SSA’s baby name data, but I do see one Ariosa in the SSDI and I’ve spotted several others on historical U.S. censuses.

What do you think — would Ariosa make a good name for babies being born today?

Sources:

  • Balthazar, Scott L. Historical Dictionary of Opera. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013.
  • Funderburg, Anne Cooper. “Cowboy Coffee.” True West 1 Jul. 2001.
  • Ukers, William Harrison. All About Coffee. New York: The Tea and Coffee Trade Journal Company, 1922.
  • Williams, Jacqueline Block. “Arbuckles’.” The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, ed. by Andrew F. Smith. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company, 2007.

P.S. Here are a few more names names associated with coffee.